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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
|September 22, 1997|
FCC CHAIRMAN HUNDT CHALLENGES UNIVERSAL SERVICE ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTORS TO DELIVER THE AMERICAN DREAM OF THE INFORMATION HIGHWAY TO ALL CHILDREN
In remarks today at the first meeting of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), FCC Chairman Reed Hundt challenged newly appointed members to ensure the success and longevity of the schools and libraries discount program.
"Modern communications is on the verge of bringing the often lost and isolated world of elementary and secondary school education into the modern age, and is revolutionizing health care in this country guaranteeing all Americans adequate healthcare," said Hundt.
Hundt applauded the efforts of Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell to bring Philadelphia's schools online. "The Mayor is going to take Independence Hall to the kids," said Hundt, "And, while he's at it, he's going to bring them the Library of Congress." Hundt pointed out that "when I was teaching in Philadelphia, 28 years ago, I had to beg for a bus to take the kids to Independence Hall. We weren't twenty blocks away from it and not a kid in my seventh grade class had ever been there, because it was too dangerous to go." He told USAC members that their "purpose is to make this new Philadelphia freedom available to every child in every classroom in every county in every corner of the country."
Hundt warned that "powerful forces are mustered to defeat the promise of this provision," noting that Southwestern Bell Corporation, Inc., has filed to stay the entire schools and libraries program from going into effect. "This Bell company wants to service schools its way in its territory and is willing to stop this program for the rest of the country," said Hundt. He called the lawsuit "wrong for the country, inconsistent with the law, and bad for kids."
Hundt called for a nonprofit foundation that would provide information to schools and telehealth clinics on purchasing sophisticated communications equipment that "would be funded by America's hardware and software businesses. Let's get as much of all this privatized as we possibly can do. Let's not build bureaucracies; let's build connections instead."